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Emergency Order Revises Visitation Restrictions at Residential, Skilled Nursing, and LTC Facilities

Wednesday, September 2, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kyle Simon

On September 1, 2020, at the direction of Governor Ron DeSantis, Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz issued Emergency Order 20-009 lifting some temporary restrictions for individuals entering residential and long-term care facilities.

The revisions include the following:

  • Facilities must allow visitation in long-term care facilities for Essential Caregivers and Compassionate Care visitors.
  • The Order establishes clear definitions for Essential Caregivers and Compassionate Care Visits.
  • Each visitation scenario must be accompanied by facility policies and procedures that support the safety of all residents and visitors. Policies and procedures must address appropriate training and mandatory use of masks and other infection control protections, including scheduling of visits, screening of visitors, and monitoring of visits for compliance with infection control requirements.
  • Facilities may resume beauty salon and barber services if certain indicators of low virus risk are met and infection control practices for those services are established.
  • Facilities shall provide health care providers entrance to the facility to provide medical services as requested by the resident and residents are allowed to leave the facility to access health care services in the community.

To resume general visitation, a facility must be 14 days with no new facility onset of resident or staff COVID-19 cases, excluding dedicated units/wings accepting COVID-19 cases from the community.

Any facility that has a resident test positive for COVID-19 must immediately cease all indoor and outdoor visitation.

Additionally, any facility that has a staff member test positive for COVID-19 must immediately cease all indoor and outdoor visitation if that staff person was in the facility in the 10 days prior to the positive test.

Facilities are also required to:

  • Schedule visitors by appointment; monitor for adherence to proper use of masks and social distancing.
  • Notify residents, their representatives and recurring visitors of any changes in the visitation policy.
  • Continue with visitor screening, i.e., temperature checks and symptom/exposure screening questions.
  • Designate key staff to support infection control education of visitors including, use of masks, proper hand hygiene, social distancing, and visitation policies.
  • Facility may perform COVID testing of visitors; use of testing must be based on current CDC and FDA guidance.
  • Maintain a visitor log for signing in and out.
  • Visit spaces must be cleaned and disinfected between visitors and contain handwashing or sanitation stations.

Additional guidance for health care providers was published on September 5, which may be accessed here.

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